‘I Think It’s Time’: Parking Bureau Pursues Body Cameras for Enforcement Officers

With support from the appointed body that helps oversee her, the head of the New Canaan Parking Bureau last week said she intends to put together a formal, comprehensive proposal for getting body cameras for enforcement officers. 

On a night that saw a Westchester woman hurl expletives and serious accusations during an appeal hearing for a $30 ticket, Parking Manger Stacy Miltenberg said “it is time that the [parking enforcement] officers get body cameras like the police do.”

“I think that there’s two sides to every story and think it will be beneficial,” Miltenberg said during the Parking Commission’s regular meeting, held July 11 at Town Hall. She added: “I really do think that it is a good idea.”

In addition to laying out cost options for different types of models, Miltenberg said her proposal will include recommendations based on the officers’ uniforms, specifics on when they would be used and turned on, and a governing policy that could use the New Canaan Police Department’s as a baseline model. 

“I think it’s time,” Miltenberg said. Parking Enforcement Officer Lisa Pia, a guest at the meeting, agreed with that assessment, saying she’s wanted the cameras “for years.”

“Because people make accusations that are not accurate, not even close to being accurate,” Pia said. “And who has our back unless we have proof? I had a situation today when some lady said I was yelling at her and I said, ‘Ma’am, I think you are not liking the answer I am giving you and you are not happy with it.

Officials: Town Attorney Investigating Whether New Canaan Should Change Tire-Chalking Practice 

The town attorney is reviewing the practice of enforcement officers in New Canaan—ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court in the midwest—of chalking the tires of vehicles by way of tracking how long they’re parked in the same place, officials said. Though decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit—a jurisdiction that covers Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee—is “weak,” Parking Commission Chairman Keith Richey said at the appointed body’s most recent meeting, “but that was their decision.”

“It’s on the basis of the chalk-marking being a search,” Richey said during the May 2 meeting, held at Town Hall. “And as a lawyer who has studied Constitutional law, i cannot understand how chalk-marking is a search, considering that you have available today photographs, you have license plate readers. Those are not searches, but chalking would be a search.”

He added, “I can tell you that the town lawyer is looking at it, and that until he comes up with decision, we are not following it.”

The three-judge panel’s decision involved the case of a Saginaw, Mich. woman who had been cited by the same enforcement officer 15 times within just a few years, according to a NPR report.

Divided Parking Commission Upholds $30 Ticket for Local Woman Obstructing Two Spaces

Members of the Parking Commission at their most recent meeting voted 3-2 to uphold a $30 ticket for a New Canaan woman cited for obstructing two spaces in a municipal lot downtown. 

Malia Frame during an appeal hearing before the Commission said she typically backs up her GMC Yukon “a few times before I pull into a space.”

“And then I always check the line on my side but I haven’t been on the opposite side,” Frame said during the hearing, held at Town Hall. “So ever since I got this ticket, I have been checking on the other side and I just realized that I have to be more careful when I straighten up. I’m not saying it didn’t happen—I’m happy to pay the fine. It was just an honest mistake.”

The ticket had been issued at 1:03 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, records show. Seeing a photo of her vehicle for the first time on the night of the hearing, Frame conceded that the Yukon was “ definitely askew.”

“But my problem that day is that I got—I mean I have huge car, I have a Yukon, and it’s every big,” she said.

Town Upholds $30 Ticket for New Canaan Woman Who Said Truck Obstructed View of ‘Loading Zone’ Sign

Town officials recently upheld a $30 ticket for a New Canaan woman who parked in a loading zone on Main Street. Mary McCauley told members of the Parking Commission during her appeal hearing that she’s accustomed to parking on Main Street between East and Locust Avenues for morning sessions at a business that helps people with stretching. On the morning of March 21, a Thursday, McCauley pulled in near the corner in front of Organika Kitchen and didn’t read signs saying the area was reserved as a loading zone from 7 to 11 a.m. “because I know it’s two-hour parking,” she told Commissioners during their most recent meeting. “I had no idea it’s a loading zone and could not have known that it was a loading zone, because the truck in front of me was obstructing the sign view,” McCauley said during the May 2 hearing, held in Town Hall. “So when I came out and I had a ticket, I was absolutely shocked because I think I’ve had just one other ticket in the 27 years I have been here.”

Ultimately, saying McCauley should’ve seen a sign posting the loading zone hours at the near side of the area, even if a truck obstructed her view of the one on the far side, Commissioners voted 4-1 to uphold the ticket.